University of British Columbia Introduces Blockchain Program for Master’s and PhD Students

The University of British Columbia, one of the leading universities in Canada, has taken a bold step by introducing a blockchain tech program for graduate students.

During the launching, the University described the program the first in Canada.

According to them, the program which would begin in January, 2020, would focus on four areas: health and wellness, clean energy, regulatory technology and issues for Indigenous residents.

Victoria Lemieux, UBC iSchool associate professor and founder of Blockchain@UBC, while speaking on during the launch of the program, said, “The initiative will allow students to develop the skills around emerging technologies that are in high demand as well as drive economic growth as graduates fill the void in the industry.”

Prior knowledge of blockchain is not a requirement for admission for prospective students, the university said.

It aims to train 139 students over six years, and build out services for existing master’s and PhD students in educationally adjacent areas, it added.

Fifteen industry partners from a various sectors, including Boehringer Ingelheim, a pharmaceutical company with net sales of around 17.5 billion euros in 2018, are supporting the initiative by UBC.

A not-for-profit organization, Mitacs, working with the federal and municipal governments to support industrial innovation, will reserve a potential contribution of $1.324 million for over six years.

More so, the agency intends to provide funding for 18 master’s and eight PhD internships in the field, to a tune of over $2.44 million for 156 internships and post-doctoral training projects during the course of the partnership.

Blockchain@UBC will also get support through UBC’s Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters program.

Prospective students would enjoy from UBC’s faculty diverse disciplines, which includes but not limited, natural science, FinTech, engineering and computer science, and information governance, as well as non-STEM fields.

“Complex, wicked problems require a collision of perspectives,” Victoria Lemieux said during an interview with CoinDesk.

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